Monday, May 27, 2013

"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY

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tmm,

SRW

An Ounce of Prevention: "How I KNEW My Husband Was the 'ONE'"

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So...

Per a new follower of the "On Fire" site, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) another website that she checks out that had an article entitled "How I KNEW My Husband Was the 'ONE'".

I've read a lot of articles with a similar title before and while I believe everyone has *the own journey*, I do dig a lot of the standards that this particular woman had regarding her beloved and so I have enclosed her 10 points (and a bonus) below:

1. First, I finally had peace. Most guys I dated, God didn't like for us to be together-- even when I would ignore my little peace and try to make it work.

2. He refused to kiss me until our wedding day. The bible says to "Flee Fornication" for a reason. "Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body."- 1 Cor 6:18. So if homebody keeps on pressuring me to sin against my body, he clearly doesn't love GOD or me. Jus sayin'. He SET & kept those boundaries. He did everything he could to protect me, my integrity and most importantly, honor God.

3. His vision lined up with what GOD already TOLD me. I knew in 2005 that I was called to preach and share Christ to this hurting world. Sorry, I wasn't marryin' no rapper. Yeah, he could change-- but I didn't want to wait 40 years for him to come around & change. I needed to see the guy I was supposed to marry actively pursing God RIGHT now.

4. I kept getting better in the relationship. Cornelius wasn't a stumbling block for me. He was REALLY concerned that I had a relationship with Jesus alone that was not founded in my EMOTIONS. He refused to let me depend on Him and He ALWAYS pushed me towards Christ.

5. God was ALL up in my quiet time pressing me to pray for Him & build Him up and God always encouraged me to love Him. GOD was giving me CONSTANT instruction with Cornelius. It was pretty cool. One day I was mad at Cornelius and the Lord told me-- "Why don't you ask me how to deal with Cornelius? I created Him, I can show you how he works."  .. oh you're right God. lol

6. He shut me down. I don't care how you flip it-- most women like discipline from a man in the sense that THEY are leading the relationship. I was confident that Cornelius knew where he was going and he didn't need me to lead the relationship due to his confusion. I have a STRONG personality and I needed someone to tell me no. In the past, I manipulated guys so it was nice to get called out. So, Cornelius is a LEADER. I didn't want to ask my guy my whole life.. where are we going & take his little leader reins.

7. When he said something, he would do it. Guys, you gotta keep your word. How can I believe in you if you don't believe in you or what you say?

8. I was attracted to him. I had to put this in-- sometimes, we think we have to marry someone we aren't attracted to because we think that he's it. Once, I dated this guy that I wasn't 100% attracted to and I struggled with it and thought I had to marry him because he was one of the first Christan guys I dated after I got saved. I didn't know there were cute Christians. Jus sayin'. I wanna LIKE looking at him for the rest of my life. Yeah, stuff can happen but one of my desires was to be attracted to my guy. NOT the main desire, but one of them.

9. He was growing. While we courted, he was willing to ADJUST and change. I knew that when things would come our way, He would man up, admit his mistakes & CHANGE. He wasn't trying to hold on to his old ways. He wanted to be better and was willing to adjust. AND he let ME grow. He wasn't all hard on me-- pressuring me to be some doctor or lawyer because it looked good. He let me grow UP from all of my weaknesses & issues. He HELPED me & was patient with me.

10. With all of that said, he really loved Jesus. It encouraged me. Jobs can come and go, money can leave, looks can fade but if that man really, I mean really loves Jesus and wants to live for Him-- NOTHING is impossible. My spirit was so excited about every aspect of Cornelius. I was never NOT at peace with him. I wanted so many things in a man and I never thought I would meet someone with my desires. God exceeded my expectations and my husband MEASURED up. Yours will too.

11. (Bonus number) I RESPECTED HIM a lot because of the above. Don't marry someone you don't respect or look up to.

Remember this is no formula. I am just sharing what was important to ME. Let God lead you every second of the way. And if that guy or girl hasn't come.. they aren't supposed to. Keep your eyes in  your own grass and focus on GOD & working with your portion. Let GOD be your matchmaker. 

That's a good list, right there.

Lots of food for thought.

Indeed, a lot of women get married, not with *good reasons* but actually *poor excuses*.

Choose wisely.

tmm,

SRW


Thursday, May 23, 2013

"On Fire": Are You "By Yourself" in Your Relationship? What to Do If You Are.

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I'll tell you what...

It seems like the married folks just can't get a break. Why does everything in that quote sound so cute except for the husband and wife resolve? I mean, why do *they* have to be the ones to get the word "argue" (LOL)? Anyway, I posted it because in some ways, it's fitting for the focus of this particular message because it's a blaring reminder that good relationships consists of *two participants*.

That said...

I'm not even really sure how I found this article (meaning I can't recall what I was initially looking for that led me to it this morning) and also let me just say that I've read enough material of all faiths to sense that this particular author is probably New Age; however, this piece offers some really powerful insights on what she calls "multi-dimensional relationships" and I call "being in a relationship...alone". Therefore, I'm going to share an excerpt of it:

In a recent Facebook post I wrote about a long-term relationship I have had with someone that has been very frustrating, challenging and sad. It has felt stuck for a long time and although I can see its wonderful potential, the other person cannot. Then, while thinking about it a few nights ago, I understood why it has never moved forward,  isn’t ‘working’, and is so disappointing and painful. This realization was so powerful that I was able to release the relationship and all of its challenges and frustrations in just a few minutes. The post received so many comments and shares that I knew I had to share more of this information with you.

What I realized, that I had never seen before, was that our relationship existed in different dimensions. I am remembering a connection with him that doesn’t exist for him because he is not at that level in this lifetime (and may never choose to be there). My purpose in his life has been to help him remember something he doesn’t want to remember now. And I am holding an energetic space for him that he is not ready or willing to occupy with me.

The dimension, vibration and frequency he has chosen to experience his life at today are part of his lessons. I hold a different frequency that is available to him but he has to choose it; I can’t choose for him. Now I can see the potential that we could have as a couple and it is amazing, but not only does he not see it, the thought of being at that level scares him away. While I think I’m giving him the most amazing opportunity, he thinks I’m trying to push him into a situation that he doesn’t want to be part of (and he really doesn’t) and cannot envision himself in, and he is not aware of the value, benefits and blessings of being in this relationship with me.

But this kind of situation exists in my life beyond this relationship, it is also present in many other areas of my life in which I remember a far more joyful and powerful connection with others and hold energetic space for them to join me there but they cannot see it and are often angry or frustrated with me, instead of sharing my vision. I had to realize that this is not their path in this lifetime, unless they choose it. And so far, they are not there even though I have worked very hard to allow that to happen, including martyring myself on their behalf.

Here are some of the ways you can know that you are in a multi-dimensional relationship (and consider these points in every relationship, not just the romantic ones):

1. You feel you are working harder at making this work than the other person.

2. You wish they would change.

3. They are your ‘blind spot’ and you can’t see their faults even though everyone else in your life wonders why you are so attached to this person or can’t see what they see in them.

4. You have a very strong connection but the relationship feels stuck.

5. You are afraid that the relationship will not work out and have a nagging feeling that it will end one day.

6. They secretly or openly think you’re odd, strange, different or hard to understand.

7. You can see more potential in them than they can see in and for themselves.

8. You can see more potential and possibility in the relationship than they can see or acknowledge. And you may feel like you are being deliberately rejected.

9. If you are honest with yourself, you know that you are a martyr in this relationship.

10. The relationship ends suddenly and painfully and you do not understand why.

OK, words like "frequency" and "vibration" and "in this lifetime" are some triggers that she may not be Christian but again this is still some really great stuff. It reminds me that when the Message Version of Acts 1:7 speaks of timing being the Father's business and when Ecclesiastes 3:11 talks about God making everything beautiful in its time, one thing that I believe this article and those verses speak to is the fact that *timing is essential for every healthy relationship*; that if the timing is "off", the relationship will be imbalanced as well.

I can personally attest to the fact that unfortunately, there are a lot of us who feel like because we're interested in someone or perhaps that we even love them then automatically our emotions and life's timetable should be in sync when very often, that is not even close to being the case. Sometimes we simply love "ahead", which speaks to timing not being ideal and as my mother used to oftentimes say "The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing." Healthy love and good timing are simply essential.

You know, I can only imagine how much heartbreak would be spared if we, especially as women, were just as proactive about praying for being brought (Genesis 2:22) to the right man *at the right time* as we were about being in a relationship at all. Because if timing was as much of a priority to us as having a relationship was one, we would remember that "...a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment" (Ecclesiastes 8:5) and so we would be so much more cautious with moving "out of season" and two, if God did reveal someone was to be a part of our future, we would be a lot more patient with the preparation process than we tend to be (I Corinthians 13:4).

However, even with good lovin' and great timing there's something else to keep in mind...

Another important thing that the author mentioned in the article that's key is this: Even if you love someone, unless you want to be in some twisted codependent stronghold, please don't forget about the fact for the relationship to really and truly work, they have to *choose* to love you back. In other words, the old saying "If it's meant to be, it will be" is not a bandwagon to necessarily jump onto because it implies that if it's God's will, it will happen. I mean, it was *God's will* for Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit; they still did though (Genesis 3). Therefore, things don't happen if they're "meant to". Things happen when people *choose to* which is why if you do find yourself in a situation with someone where you are checking a lot of things off on that 10-point list up top, something else that I would encourage you to do is go to God for faith (Hebrews 11:1), wisdom (James 1:5) and acceptance of the other person's *choice*. Why? Because...

LOVE. IS. A. CHOICE.

And a lot of us find ourselves in relationships alone simply because we don't accept that fact. Sure, you could be the best woman on the planet, but God is not going to *make a man* be with you. I mean, look at the gift of his Son (John 3:16) that he sent mankind and all of the people who rejected and continue to reject him. Do you think that hell, for them, his simply "meant to be"? God simply affords the opportunity, it's up to us to accept it.

When it comes to salvation...

When it comes to marriage...

So, if you notice yourself anywhere in this, I would encourage you to do the following things:

1) Accept the REALITY (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) of your situation.

2) Pray for insight on if "he" is the wrong person or *it's* simply the wrong time.

3) Intercede for "him" to receive the same insights.

4) Seek strength to accept that each man has the power to choose.

5) Know that God withholds no good thing (Psalm 84:11). This means that you will not be *penalized* for someone else's decision. God is the master of making "Plan D" just as good as "Plan A".

And either way, remember that it's not God's desire for you to be in a relationship alone, OK?

So, don't you *choose* to be.

tmm,

SRW


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"On Fire": QUOTE OF THE DAY

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As a recovering (emotional) abuser and abusee, I'll speak up and say that emotional abuse is a BEAST and Natalie (she's English, by the way so some "misspellings" are purposeful) is "spot on" re: her resolve concerning it:

"If you’ve been wondering if someone’s mistreatment of you is justified, what they’re doing is exploiting the fact that you’re questioning your worth and even attempting to appease them in the process, possibly while giving them a free pass on responsibility and accountability.

It’s not that they have insider knowledge about that One False Move you made that they’re building their whole mistreatment case around.

You could sit there from here to eternity and ruminate over, 'Was it this? Was it that? Was it that time I didn’t answer the phone on three rings? Is it because I wouldn’t have a three-way? Is it because I said that I felt uncomfortable with them disrespecting my boundaries? It’s because I slept with him/her after a week, isn’t it? It’s because I gave them too much? Maybe I should have given them more? Is it because I had needs? Because, because, because, because…'

I know we like to think that there’s a reason for everything but the reason for ‘everything’ doesn’t have to be about you.

It’s not about you. The reason why someone is mistreating you is because that’s what they do. You can do the work to address why you’re still there or why you’re internalising their behaviour but what you cannot do is see you as an extension of their behaviour.

Character doesn’t go out of fashion nor can it change on a daily basis or from person to person. You’re not the first to experience this and you won’t be the last. Sadly. You don’t ‘provoke’ people into doing shady stuff by just breathing and believing that you’re an unworthy person. Regardless of what you’re feeling about you, they’re being themselves."

Now that's not to say that some things *aren't about you*, especially if you sense a pattern, but what this does mean is that when the New Century Version of Galatians 6:5 tells us that we are to be responsible for ourselves, it means just that. Don't "own" someone else's issues. Just the ones that you've got.

OK? OK.

tmm,

SRW


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"On Fire": Signs of Being WORTHY OF TRUST

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“He said, ‘Good servant! Great work! Because you’ve been trustworthy in this small job, I’m making you governor of ten towns.’"---Luke 19:17(Message)


You know...

Sometimes the truth hurts but it will free a person. (John 8:31-32)

As I was doing some "On Fire" praying recently, I experienced what I call a "choke laugh" off of the Spirit's response: "How can I trust my daughters with something as big as marriage when so many of them won't even get to work on time or pay their bills when they're due? Remember that Christ said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I don't give things in order to make individuals less responsible *but more*. If marriage is going to burden you, then it's not a blessing. And the truth is that marriage comes with a lot of responsibility that most of my daughters are not using this time to prepare for." (Matthew 11:30)

To further illustrate this point, I was led (Luke 12:12) to the lead Scripture for this message and in so many ways, it spoke volumes.

1) This particular individual in Luke 19 did not become a leader without being a servant... *first*. One of my favorite quotes is by Buddha: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." A lot of women want to "hurry up and be a wife" without using this time, while they're single, to learn the kinds of lessons that will prepare them for a "Proverbs 31 gig". You know the *virtuous wife* (who according to Jewish culture is Abraham's wife, Sarah) worked with her hands; got up early in the morning to prepare food for her family (do you know how many women can't even cook these days?!?); knew how to invest money; could sew; helped out the needy; was strong, respected and optimistic; DID NOT WASTE TIME and because of these traits, her children spoken well of her, her husband praised and and according to the New Century Version of Proverbs 31:11: "Her husband trusts her completely. With her, he has everything he needs." Now do you think that a wedding ceremony miraculously transformed this woman into having these kinds of characteristics? While she may have "fine tuned" them over the course of her marriage (because also according to Jewish culture, Proverbs 31:10-31 was Sarah's eulogy...it spoke of the kind of wife she was *over the course of her entire lifetime*), I am confident in stating that these were things that were put into practice well before any "broom jumping" took place. Her husband could trust her to be a "lifesaver", in part, because she had been a good "life student" and servant of others (Galatians 5:13) as a single woman.

2) This particular individual in Luke 19 was promoted from small things to big things. I believe that I've shared before that I'm currently working on "checking off" anything that the Holy Spirit (or a person) reminds me that I said I would do but didn't. Why? Because there is nothing admirable about professing to be a "Word abider" while you're a vow breaker (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) at the same time; yet a lot of us get into this rut because we speak ahead of the amount of time that we actually have in each day. For instance, when I read verses such as James 4:13-14(NKJV) "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away", something that it reminds me to do is live *in the moment*. If all of us are really and truly desiring to live responsible lives (Galatians 6:5-NCV), then we'll admit that our plates are already pretty full. TODAY. Therefore, we don't need to consume ourselves with getting more or doing more if we can't do it and do it in excellence. Each day, we simply need to focus on doing the "little things in life"...it's how we establish trust with God and others (Proverbs 3:4) as it prepares us for...divine assignments and promotions.

3) That particular individual in Luke 19 didn't "talk". He "worked". Thanks to verses like I John 3:18(NKJV), the one that tells us "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth", we see that words only "move God" if actions are going to follow them. Because my top love language is Words of Affirmation, I used to find myself in "hamster wheel relationships" (lots of running but getting absolutely nowhere) because I figured that if a guy *said it* then that should be enough. I mean, it is if he believes that he was made in the image of the Godhead (Genesis 1:26-28) and therefore that means that *words are to precede action*. Why? Because that is another way that trust is properly cultivated. Otherwise, words don't really mean very much. 

So, in pondering (Proverbs 4:26) all of this, I did a bit of research outside of the Bible on what it means to be trustworthy. One article said that it means this:

Credibility: Can we believe what you say?
Reliability: Can we depend on your actions?
Intimacy:   Do we feel safe sharing information with you?
Self-orientation: Are you focused on yourself, or on the other person, in your interactions and motives?

(That's some good stuff right there!) 

Then I read another article entitled "Top 10: Signs She'll Make a Good Wife":

1. She's trustworthy and loyal

2. She's emotionally stable

3. The two of you have similar interests

4. She respects you

5. The two of you have great communication

6. You have great intimacy together (well, you know...the potential is there-LOL)

7. The two of you can laugh together

8. Her finances are in order

9. She's beautiful inside and out

10. You are both in agreement on kids


Uh-huh. There goes that trustworthy word again. *It's paramount*. And while a lot of women don't like to "look at themselves" when it comes to dealing with a list like this, it's simply hard to trust any woman who is emotionally unstable, who doesn't respect men and who has a jacked up credit history. Speaking of credit, as someone who is getting hers in order right now, 9 1/2 times out 10, not-so-stellar credit means that somewhere along the line, you were a vow breaker. You said you would pay something that you didn't and so why would God overwhelm you with just one more person (even if it is in the form of a husband) to not keep your word to? Being good with finances is vital and a part of the foundation of any healthy marriage.

And then there's one final article that I wanted to share because when one is in a relationship, trust is definitely a two-way street. This one is entitled "10 Signs He or She is a ‘Keeper’" and in many ways, it wraps up this entire message into a pretty red bow:

1. Sees the real you — and the best in you

2. Is considerate in the little things

3. Is trustworthy

4. Is someone you can live with someday

5. Is respectful to your family and friends

6. Is a friend

7. Is more than a friend

8. Supports your interests and passions

9. Has his or her own passions/interests


And I'm going to straight up copy and paste all of what "10" says:

10. Is capable of being kept (i.e., is capable of commitment). Your mate could meet all of the above criteria, but if he or she isn’t interested in settling down, it’s irrelevant. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, be sure you are also looking for a loyal, commitment-minded person. Some people take a little longer to arrive at that place, but others are determined to never be “tied down.”

A trustworthy person celebrates the real you, is considerate *in the little things*, is respectful, is a friend and *supports your passions and interests*. And if you are trustworthy, you will do the same thing for them.

Plus, a person who is worthy of enough trust to get into a serious relationship with them is also someone who is *interested in settling down*. That also is key because so many women don't take the time to seek that information out *before* trying to build with an individual. Then, when things don't go as they'd like, they end up feeling "betrayed" when they were really simply *misinformed* (or moving in assumption). A guy did not lie to you simply because a relationship did not go the way you wanted it to (usually that is a sign of *lying to yourself*). Finding out where a man is on the "relationship radar" before investing too much of yourself lets you know what kind of future to build with him: acquaintance, platonic friend or something more...or nothing at all.

You know, I counsel a lot of couples who have broken trust in their relationship. What I am coming to discover more and more is a big part of that is due to the fact that so many people do not take the time to accept the reality that trust goes SO FAR BEYOND if someone is "sexually and emotionally faithful". As we've just seen, it means living a responsible and accountable life in every way. Before and during a relationship.

There's a lot of "food for thought" provided here.

No *and I mean NO* relationship works without trust.

Make sure you're worthy.

Make sure he is too.

tmm,

SRW

Friday, May 17, 2013

"On Fire": QUOTES OF THE DAY

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An Ounce of Prevention: "Do You Battle with 'Answer Envy'?"

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So...

My mom gets emails from "Proverbs 31 Ministries" and this morning, she forwarded me one entitled "Answer Envy".  Although you're welcome to read all of it here, I did want to share this excerpt from it:

Over the years I've discovered the cure for answer envy isn't always easy. Rather than stay stuck in disappointment, I must play an active role in my healing.

What I need is a shift in perspective. When I call out to God with my questions as encouraged in Jeremiah 33:3, I must trust He will keep His word. He will tell me "great and unsearchable things" that I do not know. Sometimes those things He provides are the answers to my request. However, do you know what those great and unsearchable things more often are? They are the reasons He seems not to be answering my original request!

While God is generous to answer my requests, I also need to ask myself some questions. Questions like, "What is my Creator trying to teach me that I might never learn if He were to suddenly pluck me out of this situation?" Or, "What character qualities is He trying to grow in me? Patience, trust, compassion, contentment?"

Not available in quick microwave form, the cure for answer envy has to be cultivated moment by moment.

We must believe that God will answer. He will clearly say "yes," "no," or "not right now." He is able, ready and willing to answer our prayers—here is the catch—as He sees fit and to grow us to be more like His Son in the process.

Sometimes we'll have a long stay in God's waiting room. Having been there myself, I now know this to be true: I must not merely seek the answer to my prayer. Instead, I must seek a deeper relationship with the answer Giver.

When the 10th Commandment tells us "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17), it's basically telling us "Do not envy". Why? Because envy is rottenness to the bones (Proverbs 14:30); envy is associated with a debased mind (Romans 1:28-32); envy hinders us from walking properly (Romans 13:13); envy is a sign of carnality (I Corinthians 3:2-4); envy prevents us from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21); envy provokes people (Galatians 5:26) and *envy has no love in it* (I Corinthians 13:4), which means it has no God in it (I John 4:8&16). As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons why Lucifer was kicked out of heaven and made a transition into becoming Satan was because of (whew!) ENVY (Ezekiel 28).

I like how the author of this piece, Ms. Ehman, said in the final paragraph that sometimes it's a long stay in God's "waiting room". Yet remember what happens to us during the waiting process:

Our strength is renewed. (Psalm 27:14)

We will inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9&34)

We shall mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

As I told my mom in response to the email, "I am so glad to be in a place of knowing that I could have been married many times over by now...and miserable. It's nice to see unions that U *know* are of God and be like 'That's awesome!' rather than 'Why me?'" It can be that way because I know that someone one else's blessings have absolutely nothing to do with my own journey and process (Psalm 33:15). It's not about being loved by God any less (Acts 10:24). It's about seeing evidence of the fact that the Most High, Possessor of heaven, earth and all that I desire, is on the throne, he answers prayers, he sees our individual needs/wants and purposes (and not necessarily in that order) and that at his appointed time (HIS. APPOINTED.TIME.), in "due season" (Galatians 6:7-9), all of his children reap (so sow, wisely and abundantly-2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

So yeah...don't let envy *slay you* (Job 5:2).

When some is of God, cheer everyone else's progress on all the while remembering...

"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
 
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."---Romans 8:22-28(Message

tmm,

SRW